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Hawaii Department of Health warns consumers

Hawaii Department of Health warns consumers

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) is alerting residents and visitors that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI) is voluntarily recalling all lots of five NEUTROGENA® and AVEENO® aerosol sunscreen product lines. Company testing identified low levels of benzene in some samples of the products. Consumers should stop using the affected products and discard or return them.

The recalled products are spray-on sunscreens, specifically:

  • NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense® aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Cool Dry Sport aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol sunscreen,
  • NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® aerosol sunscreen, and
  • AVEENO® Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen.

Product images and lot information is available at www.neutrogena.com and www.aveeno.com.

The recalled sunscreens are packaged in aerosol cans and were distributed nationwide, including Hawai‘i, through a variety of retailers. Three of the affected sunscreens contain oxybenzone and/or octinoxate, ingredients banned from sale or distribution in Hawai‘i under Section 11-342D-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, that went into effect in January 2021.

Benzene, the chemical found in the affected sunscreens, is common in the environment including in motor vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke, and is known to cause cancer in humans. Benzene is not an ingredient in sunscreen products and the levels of benzene found in the recalled products was low. Based on current information, daily exposure to benzene in these sunscreen products would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. However, these products are being recalled to prevent further exposure. JJCI is investigating the possible cause of contamination that led to the presence of benzene in their products.

Sunscreen use is critical to public health and the prevention of skin cancer. People should continue to take appropriate sun protection measures including using reef safe sunscreens, covering skin with clothing and hats, and avoiding the sun during peak hours.

Consumers may contact the JJCI Consumer Care Center 24/7 with questions or to request a refund by calling 1-800-458-1673. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any questions, concerns or have experienced any problems related to using these aerosol sunscreen products. JJCI is also notifying its distributors and retailers by letter and is arranging for returns of all recalled products.

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This post originally posted here The European Times News

Savings: Consumers have less than £500 set aside – best accounts to build habits shared

Savings habits have been focused on once more as the UK enters the second half of 2021 and coronavirus restrictions are pulled back. New research from Moneyfacts.co.uk warned that while some consumers built up disposable income during the lockdown, there are still those out there with no savings stashed away for emergencies whatsoever.

Rachel Springall, a Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, commented on these difficulties.

Ms Springall said: “Building a savings pot for the future is a vital way to avoid short-term credit and instil a positive habit.

“In a low interest environment, it would not be too surprising to find savers apathetic to open an account or chase down a better savings rate, but it’s important that they shake off this attitude and instead seriously consider how they will afford to cover unexpected purchases or a sudden increase in their monthly expenses, such as the cost of the festive season.

“Consumers may have amassed extra disposable income through the UK lockdown but whether this savings behaviour will last over the months ahead is unknown and on the other hand there could be savers who have very little tucked away.

“Indeed, recent research from Yorkshire Building Society revealed that more than a quarter of consumers had less than £500 saved and one in ten had no savings at all.

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“If someone were to put away just £25 a week for the next 20 weeks, they would amass £500 and still have enough time to do their Christmas shopping.

“Those on a low income could open a Help to Save account, which is an initiative from the Government designed to encourage working people on Tax Credits to save.

“The scheme pays 50p per £1 saved up to a maximum bonus of £1,200 over four years. HMRC statistics indicated that more accounts have been opened and deposits rose, which is positive to see, but as part of the same research, thousands of accounts were opened but no deposits were made.

“The financially unstable would be wise to work out their overall household expenditure and where they can cut back and save. There are simple ways to start budgeting, for example by using a free mobile app like Money Dashboard.

For those able or willing to leave their savings untouched, the following accounts were also shared:

Top notice accounts

  • Secure Trust Bank 120 Day Notice Account: Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.75 percent
  • Shawbrook Bank 120 Day Notice Personal Account Issue 48: Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.72 percent
  • Hampshire Trust Bank 95 Day Notice (Issue 8): Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.71 percent

Top regular savings accounts for new customers

  • NatWest Digital Regular Saver: Gross rate at £1,000 – three percent variable
  • West Brom BS Adult’s Fixed Rate Regular Saver (Issue 4) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – two percent fixed
  • Coventry BS Regular Saver (5) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – 1.05 percent variable

Top fixed term regular savings accounts for existing customers

  • Cambridge BS Loyalty Regular Saver – 1 Year Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – three percent fixed
  • Saffron BS 12 Month Fixed Rate Member Regular Saver (Issue 8) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – 1.5 percent fixed
  • Ipswich BS 1 Year Regular Saver (31.05.2022): Gross rate at £1,000 – one percent fixed

Author: Connor Coombe-Whitlock
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Ballooning commodity prices are about to hit consumers in a BIG WAY

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

The prices of commodities have soared over the past 12 months, seriously affecting consumer-staple companies which, in turn, are expected to pass rising costs onto consumers.

Statistics show that corn futures contracts have skyrocketed 96% over the past year, with cotton and wheat futures contracts also shooting up 54% and 50% respectively.

The price of lumber has seen a meteoric rise of 265% in the past year, to a record high of $ 1,326 per thousand board feet on Monday.

Meanwhile, this week Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC his company would raise prices for its products due to the increasing costs associated with higher commodity prices.
Consumer-staple giants, including Kimberly-Clark, JM Smucker, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills, have also announced they will be raising prices because of increasing costs for raw goods.

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JM Smucker CEO Mark Smucker told analysts back in November that “it was very clear that we were experiencing cost pressure.”

General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening told investors in March that his firm would also raise prices in the coming months amid inflation pressures. “So, I would start by saying that inflation is very broad-based, and it’s actually global. So, we are seeing it across the globe, and it’s broad-based across commodities, across logistics, across things like aluminum and steel,” Harmening said as quoted by the Business Insider. He added that the company would “use all of the tools” at its disposal, including “price and mix,” to offset costs.

Procter & Gamble said on Tuesday in its fiscal third-quarter results that it planned to hike prices for baby care, feminine care, and adult-incontinence products in September in respose to higher commodity costs.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Global consumers squirreled away over $5 TRILLION in savings during Covid pandemic – Moody’s

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Households around the globe have accumulated $ 5.4 trillion in additional savings compared with 2019’s spending patterns, Moody’s has said. That equates to more than 6% of global gross domestic product.

According to the rating agency, booming global consumer confidence suggests people will be willing to spend again as soon as shops, bars and restaurants reopen when coronavirus restrictions are eased. 

“The combination of an unleashing of significant pent-up demand and overflowing excess saving will drive a surge in consumer spending across the globe as countries approach herd immunity and open up,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

The agency estimates that if consumers spend about a third of their excess savings, they will boost global output by just over two percentage points both this year and next.

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Zandi said excess saving was highest in developed economies, particularly in North America and Europe where lockdowns have been widely implemented and government spending has been high.

In the US alone, households have stacked more than $ 2 trillion in extra savings, even before the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus program by President Joe Biden was launched. Statistics, however, show that savings have been largely accumulated by richer households in all regions.

Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius told the Financial Times that according to his estimates nearly two-thirds of US excess savings were held by the richest 40% of the population. He suggested this could hold back the scale of the economic boost because “high-income households will hold [rather than spend] the bulk of excess savings.”

Adam Slater, lead economist at Oxford Economics, was quoted by FT as saying: “If excess savings are mostly held by wealthier households and these are treated as a wealth increase rather than an income addition, we would expect a much lower level of [additional] spending.”

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Russian gas exports to Europe surge 30% in 2021 as harsh winter forces foreign consumers to boost energy purchases

Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom increased shipments of natural gas to Europe by 30.7% in the first quarter of the current year, preliminary data shows.

The impressive year-on-year surge, to nearly 53 billion cubic meters, is reportedly due to the cold (in European terms) winter season. In March, the shipments totaled 18.2 billion cubic meters, reaching an all-time high, the company said.
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Germany, the biggest importer of Russian gas, nearly tripled its purchases in the first three months of 2021. Most of supplies were reportedly delivered via the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia directly to Germany, bypassing the neighboring states.

Exports to Serbia saw a significant boost of 71.3%, while sales to Bulgaria and Greece surged 52.4% and 23.4% respectively once the Turkish Stream gas pipeline became operational.

Romania, which has repeatedly spoken of its energy self-sufficiency, increased purchases of Russian gas by an enormous 90%. The supplies are carried out through Ukraine and Moldova, a much more expensive method than the possible delivery via the Turkish Stream.
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Gazprom’s exports to Turkey more than doubled in the first quarter of 2021. A surge of 106.6% left the company the country’s number one energy supplier, despite diversification efforts undertaken by Ankara. So far, energy imports from Azerbaijan have failed to squeeze Russian gas from the Turkish market.

In 2020, Gazprom cut gas exports to 179.3 billion cubic meters, as the Covid-19 pandemic had a high negative impact on demand for energy among international consumers.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section